[Being told he can go home]
Private Ryan: Hell, these guys deserve to go home as much as I do. They've fought just as hard.
Captain Miller: Is that what I'm supposed to tell your mother when she gets another folded American flag?
Private Ryan: You can tell her that when you found me, I was with the only brothers I had left. And that there was no way I was deserting them. I think she'd understand that.
Parker: [firing machine gun] I'm out of .30 Caliber!
Private Jackson: [lining shots] Blessed be the Lord my strength, which teaches my hands to war, and my fingers to fight.
[Fires rifle twice]
Private Jackson: My goodness and my fortress... my high tower and my Deliverer.
Private Jackson: My shield, and he in whom I trust.
[Fires rifle, then to his rifle]
Private Jackson: Here you go baby.
[Fires rifle few more times. Notices a tank has spotted them]
Private Jackson: Parker, get down!
Captain Miller: I'm a schoolteacher. I teach English composition... in this little town called Adley, Pennsylvania. The last eleven years, I've been at Thomas Alva Edison High School. I was a coach of the baseball team in the springtime. Back home, I tell people what I do for a living and they think well, now that figures. But over here, it's a big, a big mystery. So, I guess I've changed some. Sometimes I wonder if I've changed so much my wife is even going to recognize me, whenever it is that I get back to her. And how I'll ever be able to tell her about days like today. Ah, Ryan. I don't know anything about Ryan. I don't care. The man means nothing to me. It's just a name. But if... You know if going to Rumelle and finding him so that he can go home. If that earns me the right to get back to my wife, then that's my mission.
[to Private Reiben]
Captain Miller: You want to leave? You want to go off and fight the war? All right. All right. I won't stop you. I'll even put in the paperwork. I just know that every man I kill the farther away from home I feel.
Captain Miller: He better be worth it. He better go home and cure a disease, or invent a longer-lasting light bulb.
Gen. George C. Marshall: My dear Mrs Ryan: It's with the most profound sense of joy that I write to inform you your son, Private James Ryan, is well and, at this very moment, on his way home from European battlefields. Reports from the front indicate James did his duty in combat with great courage and steadfast dedication, even after he was informed of the tragic loss your family has suffered in this great campaign to rid the world of tyranny and oppresion. I take great pleasure in joining the Secretary of War, the men and women of the U.S. Army, and the citizens of a grateful nation in wishing you good health and many years of happiness with James at your side. Nothing, not even the safe return of a beloved son, can compensate you, or the thousands of other American families, who have suffered great loss in this tragic war. I might share with you some words which have sustained me through long, dark nights of peril, loss, and heartache. And I quote: "I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the alter of freedom." -Abraham Lincoln. Yours very sincerely and respectfully, George C. Marshall, General, Chief of Staff.
Private Jackson: Sir... I have an opinion on this matter.
Captain Miller: Well, by all means, share it with the squad.
Private Jackson: Well, from my way of thinking, sir, this entire mission is a serious misallocation of valuable military resources.
Captain Miller: Yeah. Go on.
Private Jackson: Well, it seems to me, sir, that God gave me a special gift, made me a fine instrument of warfare.
Captain Miller: Reiben, pay attention. Now, this is the way to gripe. Continue, Jackson.
Private Jackson: Well, what I mean by that, sir, is... if you was to put me and this here sniper rifle anywhere up to and including one mile of Adolf Hitler with a clear line of sight, sir... pack your bags, fellas, war's over. Amen.
Private Reiben: Oh, that's brilliant, bumpkin. Hey, so, Captain, what about you? I mean, you don't gripe at all?
Captain Miller: I don't gripe to *you*, Reiben. I'm a captain. There's a chain of command. Gripes go up, not down. Always up. You gripe to me, I gripe to my superior officer, so on, so on, and so on. I don't gripe to you. I don't gripe in front of you. You should know that as a Ranger.
Private Reiben: I'm sorry, sir, but uh... let's say you weren't a captain, or maybe I was a major. What would you say then?
Captain Miller: Well, in that case... I'd say, "This is an excellent mission, sir, with an extremely valuable objective, sir, worthy of my best efforts, sir. Moreover... I feel heartfelt sorrow for the mother of Private James Ryan and am willing to lay down my life and the lives of my men - especially you, Reiben - to ease her suffering."
Mellish: [chuckles] He's good.
Private Caparzo: I love him.
[they make mocking kissy-faces at each other]
Old James Ryan: [Last lines, addressing Capt. Miller's grave] My family is with me today. They wanted to come with me. To be honest with you, I wasn't sure how I'd feel coming back here. Every day I think about what you said to me that day on the bridge. I tried to live my life the best that I could. I hope that was enough. I hope that, at least in your eyes, I've earned what all of you have done for me.
Ryan's Wife: James?...
[looking at headstone]
Ryan's Wife: Captain John H Miller.
Old James Ryan: Tell me I have led a good life.
Ryan's Wife: What?
Old James Ryan: Tell me I'm a good man.
Ryan's Wife: You *are*.
Old James Ryan: [Stands back and salutes]
Sergeant Horvath: I don't know. Part of me thinks the kid's right. He asks what he's done to deserve this. He wants to stay here, fine. Let's leave him and go home. But then another part of me thinks, what if by some miracle we stay, then actually make it out of here. Someday we might look back on this and decide that saving Private Ryan was the one decent thing we were able to pull out of this whole godawful, shitty mess. Like you said, Captain, maybe we do that, we all earn the right to go home.
Captain Miller: You see, when... when you end up killing one of your men, you see, you tell yourself it happened so you could save the lives of two or three or ten others. Maybe a hundred others. Do you know how many men I've lost under my command?
Sergeant Horvath: How many?
Captain Miller: Ninety-four. But that means I've saved the lives of ten times that many, doesn't it? Maybe even 20, right? Twenty times as many? And that's how simple it is. That's how you... that's how you rationalize making the choice between the mission and the man.
Captain Miller: Well when I think of home, I... I think of something specific. I think of my, my hammock in the backyard or my wife pruning the rosebushes in a pair of my old work gloves.
Private Ryan: This, this one night, two of my brothers came and woke me up in the middle of the night. And they said they had a surprise for me. So they took me to the barn up in the loft and there was my oldest brother, Dan, with Alice, Alice Jardine. I mean, picture a girl who just took a nosedive from the ugly tree and hit every branch coming down. And... and Dan's got his shirt off and he's working on this bra and he's tryin to get it off and all of a sudden Shawn just screams out, "Danny you're a young man, don't do it!" And so Alice Jardine hears this and she screams and she jumps up and she tries to get running out of the barn but she's still got this shirt over her head. She goes running right into the wall and knocks herself out. So now Danny's just so mad at us. He, he starts coming after us, but... but at the same time Alice is over there unconscious. He's gotta wa... , wake her up. So he grabs her by a leg and he's drag, dragging her. At the same time he picks up a shovel. And he's going after Shawn, and Shawn's saying, "What are you trying to hit me for? I just did you a favor!" And so this makes Dan more angry. He tries to swing this thing, he looses the shovel, goes outta his grasp and hits a kerosene lantern; the thing explodes, the whole barn almost goes up because of this thing. That was it. That was the last, that was, Dan went off to basic the next day. That was the last night the four of us were together. That was two years ago. Tell me about your wife and those rosebushes?
Captain Miller: No, no that one I save just for me.
Gen. George C. Marshall: I have a letter here, written a long time ago, to a Mrs. Bixby in Boston. So bear with me. "Dear Madam: I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant-General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle. I feel how weak and fruitless must be any words of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering to you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save. I pray that our heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom. Yours very sincerely and respectfully, Abraham Lincoln."
Private Ryan: Picture a girl who took a nosedive from the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down.
Medic Wade: Only thing is, sometimes she'd come home early, and I'd pretend to be asleep
Mellish: Who, your mom?
Medic Wade: Yeah. She'd stand in the doorway looking at me... and I'd just keep my eyes shut. And I knew she just wanted to find out about my day - that she came home early... just to talk to me. And I still wouldn't move... I'd still pretend to just be asleep. I don't know why I did that.
Private Reiben: You know what that song reminds me of? It reminds me of Mrs. Rachel Troubowitz and what she said to me the day I left for basic.
Mellish: What, don't touch me?
Private Reiben: No, Mrs. Rachel Troubowitz was our super's wife. She comes into my mom's shop to try on a few things, all right? And she's easily like a uh, a 44 double E. These things are massive. And I've got her convinced that she's like a 42D, all right. So we're in the dressing room, she's trying to squeeze into this side cut, silk ribbonned, triple panel girdle with the uh, shelf-lift brassiere and it's beautiful because she's just pouring outta this thing, you know? It's beautiful. And she sees me and she can tell I got a hard on the size of the statue of liberty, all right? And she says to me, "Richard, calm down." And she says, "Now when you're over there, if you see anything that upsets you, if you're ever scared, I want you to close your eyes and think of these. You understand?" So I said, "Yes, ma'am."
Private Reiben: You wanna explain the math of this to me? I mean, where's the sense of riskin' the lives of the eight of us to save one guy?
Captain Miller: Twenty degrees. Anybody wanna answer that?
Medic Wade: Reiben, think about the poor bastard's mother.
Private Reiben: Hey, Doc, I got a mother, all right? I mean, you got a mother. Sarge's got a mother. I mean, shit, I bet even the captain's got a mother.
[he turns and looks at Miller, who has a bemused expression on his face]
Private Reiben: Well, maybe not the captain, but the rest of us got mothers.
Upham: "Theirs not to reason why, theirs but to do and die."
Mellish: La-la, la-la, la-la, la-la, la-la, la-la, la-la, la-la. What the fuck is that supposed to mean, Corporal, huh? We're all supposed to die, is that it?
Captain Miller: Upham's talking about our duty as soldiers.
Upham: Yes, sir.
Captain Miller: We all have orders, and we have to follow 'em. That supersedes everything, including your mothers.
Upham: Yes, sir. Thank you sir.
Private Reiben: Even if you think the mission's FUBAR, sir?
Captain Miller: *Especially* if you think the mission's FUBAR.
[Listening skeptically to German propaganda coming over a loudspeaker]
Captain Miller: "The Statue of Liberty is kaput" - that's disconcerting.
Private Ryan: [after being told he can go home, to himself] It doesn't make any sense.
Private Ryan: It doesn't make any sense, sir. Why? Why do I deserve to go? Why not any of these guys? They all fought just as hard as me.
Captain Miller: Is that what they're suppose to tell your mother when they send her another folded American flag?
Private Ryan: Tell her that when you found me I was here and I was with the only brothers that I have left and that there was no way I was gonna desert them. I think she'll understand that. There's no way I'm leaving this bridge.
Private Reiben: [shouts at Private Ryan] Hey asshole! Two of our guys died trying to find you, all right?
[lining up a rifle shot]
Private Jackson: O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not my enemies triumph over me.
Private Jackson: I wouldn't venture out there fellas. This sniper's got talent.
[talking about how to disable the tanks]
Captain Miller: You take a standard G.I sock, cram it with as much Composition B as it can hold, rig up a simple fuse, then coat the whole thing with axel grease. Now when you throw it, it should stick. Its a bomb that sticks, its a "sticky bomb". Think of a better way to knock out the tracks, I'm all ears.
Private Reiben: This is great, now we gotta surrender our socks.
Sergeant Horvath: You don't know when to shut up; you don't know HOW to shut up!
Captain Miller: You and I are taking a squad over to Neuville on a public relations mission.
Sergeant Horvath: What, you leading a squad?
Captain Miller: Some private in the 101st lost three brothers and he's got a ticket home.
Sergeant Horvath: How come Neuville?
Captain Miller: Eh, they think he's up there somewhere, part of all those airborne misdrops.
Sergeant Horvath: It's not gonna be easy finding one particular soldier in the middle of this whole goddamn war.
Captain Miller: Like finding a needle in a stack of needles.
Sergeant Horvath: But what about the company?
Captain Miller: We take the pick of the litter and the rest get folded into Baker.
Sergeant Horvath: Jesus Christ. They took away your company?
Captain Miller: Wasn't my company, it was the Army's. So they told me, anyway. Give me Reiben on BAR, Jackson, Wade, Beasley, and Caparzo.
Sergeant Horvath: Beasley's dead.
Captain Miller: All right, Mellish then. We got anybody speaks French?
Sergeant Horvath: Not that I know of.
Captain Miller: What about Talbot?
Sergeant Horvath: This morning.
Captain Miller: Oh... all right. I'm gonna try to dig up another interpreter. Assemble at battalion motor pool on the beach.
Sergeant Horvath: Yes, sir. Listen up...
Private Caparzo: What are we gonna do?
Sergeant Horvath: What?
Private Caparzo: What are we gonna do?
Sergeant Horvath: You're goin' home wrapped in an American flag with a hunk of cheese in your ass, Caparzo, you smart-ass! Now listen up...
Private Reiben: I thought you liked it in the ass.
Sergeant Horvath: What?
Private Reiben: I thought you liked it in the ass!
Captain Miller: Private, I'm afraid I have some bad news for ya. Well, there isn't any real easy way to say this, so, uh, so I'll just say it. Your brothers are dead. We have, uh, orders to come get you, 'cause you're going home.
Pvt. James Frederick, Ryan: [starts sobbing] Oh, my God, my brothers are dead. I was gonna take 'em fishing when we got home. How - How did they die?
Captain Miller: They were killed in action.
Pvt. James Frederick, Ryan: No, that can't be. They're both - That... That can't be. My brothers are still in grammar school.
Captain Miller: You're James Ryan?
Pvt. James Frederick, Ryan: Yeah.
Captain Miller: James Francis Ryan from Iowa?
Pvt. James Frederick, Ryan: James Frederick Ryan, Minnesota.
[the whole crew looks embarrassed]
Pvt. James Frederick, Ryan: Well, does that - does that mean my brothers are OK?
Captain Miller: [half-smiles] Yeah, I'm sure they're fine.
Medic Wade: Actually, the trick to falling asleep is trying to stay awake.
Mellish: How is that, Wade?
Medic Wade: Well, when my mother was an intern, she used to work late through the night... sleep through the day. So the only time we'd ever get to talk about anything is when she'd get home. So what I... I used to do, I used to lie in my bed and try to stay awake as long as I could, but it never worked 'cause... 'cause the harder I'd try, the faster I'd fall asleep.
Private Reiben: Yeah well, that wouldn't have mattered none in my house. My ma, she would've come home, shook me awake, chatted me up 'til dawn. I swear that woman was never too tired to talk.
Mellish: That was probably the only time she could get a word in.
Mellish: [to Dagwood DuselDorf] Your father was circumcised by my rabbi, you prick!
Captain Miller: Keep the sand out of your weapons. Keep those actions clear. I'll see you on the beach.
[talking about Capt. Miller]
Corporal Upham: Reiben, so you even know where he went to school?
Private Reiben: Cap'n didn't go to school, they assembled him at OSC outta spare body parts of dead GIs.
Private Caparzo: You gotta pay attention to detail, I know exactly where he's from and I know exactly what he did 'cuz I pay attention to detail.
Private Jackson: Hey, Upham, careful you don't step in the bullshit!
Captain Miller: [after Reiben courageously saves Ryan from being hit by a tank shell] . RYAN!
[run to the building Reiben pulled Ryan behind]
Captain Miller: Ryan.
Private Ryan: [to Reiben, who is sitting on Ryan] Get off of me!
Captain Miller: Are you all right?
Private Ryan: Uhh! GET OFF OF ME!
Private Reiben: Yeah. I'm fine too Captain. Thanks.
[lining up a rifle shot]
Private Jackson: Be not Thou far from me, O Lord.
Sergeant Horvath: Stars.
Lieutenant Dewindt: Yeah, Brigadier General Amend, deputy commander, 101st. Some fucking genius had the great idea of welding a couple of steel plates onto our deck to keep the general safe from ground fire. Unfortunately, they forgot to tell me about it until we were just getting airborne. Well, that's like trying to fly a freight train. OK? Gross overload. Trim characteristics all shot to hell. I nearly broke both my arms trying to keep her level. And when- and when we released, you know I cut as hard as I could, tried to gain some altitude and still keep her from stalling. We came down like a fucking meteor. And that is how we ended up. And the others, they stopped easy enough OK, though, you know? We were just-we were just too damn heavy, you know? The grass was wet, downward slope and all. 22 guys dead.
Captain Miller: All that for a general?
Lieutenant Dewindt: One man.
Private Reiben: Lot of that going around.
Captain Miller: The world has taken a turn for the surreal.
Private: [screaming in agony] THEY'RE KILLING US! AND WE DON'T HAVE A FUCKIN' CHANCE AND THAT'S NOT FAIR!
Sergeant Horvath: We're in business!
Captain Miller: It's like finding a needle in a stack of needles.
Corporal Upham: [Wade lying down, shivering with pain and anguish, after being shot through the stomach] Tell us what to do... tell us how to fix you.
Captain Miller: What can we do Wade? Tell us what to do.
Medic Wade: [Wade still shivering] I could use some... I could use a little Morphine.
Captain Miller: [Capt. Miller to Sergeant Horvath] Okay... Give it to him... Give it him!
Captain Miller: Get your gear. Let's go.
[Reiben stays put]
Sergeant Horvath: You heard him, gear up. Your captain just gave you an order.
Private Reiben: Yeah, like the one he gave to take this machine gun. That was a real doosey, wasn't it?
[walks over to Miller]
Sergeant Horvath: Soldier, you are way out of line!
Private Reiben: Yes sir, that was one hell of a call coming to take this nest, but hell, we only lost one of our guys going for it. That's right, I hope Mama Ryan's real fuck'n happy knowing that Little Jimmy's life is a little bit more important than two of our guys! But then again we haven't found him yet have we? Have we?
Gen. George C. Marshall: That boy is alive. We are gonna send somebody to find him. And we are gonna get him the Hell... outta there.
Captain Miller: [to the squad while pointing at Caparzo's dead body] THIS is why we don't pick up children!
Private: [shouting and under intense fire] What's the rallying point?
Captain Miller: Anywhere but here!
Sergeant Horvath: What are your orders?
Captain Miller: Sergeant, we have crossed some strange boundary here. The world has taken a turn for the surreal.
Sergeant Horvath: Clearly, but the question still stands.
Captain Miller: I don't know. What do you think?
Sergeant Horvath: I don't think you want to know what I think.
Captain Miller: No, Mike, I do.
Sergeant Horvath: Well, part of me thinks the kid's right. What has he done to deserve this? He wants to stay here, fine, let's leave him and go home.
Captain Miller: Yeah.
Sergeant Horvath: But another part of me thinks what if, by some miracle, we stay, and actually make it out of here. Someday we might look back on this and decide that saving Private Ryan was one decent thing we were able to pull out of this whole godawful shitty mess. That's what I was thinking, sir. Like you said, Captain, we do that, then we all earn the right to go back home.
Captain Miller: Oh, brother!
Corporal Upham: Caparzo, is it?
Private Caparzo: Hey Corporal, drop dead!
Corporal Upham: Got you.
Private Caparzo: And another thing, every time you salute the Captain, you make him a target for the Germans. Do us a favor. Don't do it. Especially when I'm standing next to him, capisci?
Corporal Upham: Uh, capisci.
Upham: So where are you from, Captain? What'd you do before the war?
Captain Miller: What's the pool up to?
Upham: [chuckles] Uh... up over three hundred, sir.
Captain Miller: Well, when it gets up to five hundred, I'll give you the answers and we'll split the money. How about that?
Upham: Well, if that's the way you feel sir, then I feel it's my duty and your command to suggest that we wait until it gets up to a thousand, sir.
Captain Miller: [pause] What if we don't live that long?
Upham: [makes a show of considering] Five hundred?
Captain Miller: Five hundred would be good, yeah. Get some sleep Corporal.
Upham: Yes, sir.
Private: [when setting the German soldiers on fire] Don't shoot! LET THEM BURN!
Private Reiben: [after staring at Caparzo's dead body] Fuck Ryan.
Sergeant Hill: THUNDER!
Private: Flash! Come on in.
Sergeant Hill: Hey guys, we're looking for Captain Hamill.
Private: He's over down there, somewhere across the square.
Sergeant Hill: Across the square?
Private: Go easy. Watch for snipers.
Sergeant Horvath: Take it easy. Sit down.
Sergeant Hill: All right, Jimmy T. Go find Captain Hamill. Bring him in here.
Jimmy T: What? Up there?
Sergeant Hill: How the hell should I know? Would you just go look for him, please? Thank you, you moron. All right. You guys just flake out here for a while. Ohh. Let me get this goddam hitchhiker out of my boot.
[He sits on a pile of lumber to remove his boot. A larger piece of lumber falls hard against the stone wall in the background, causing it to collapse and reveal a room of hidden German soldiers]
Captain Hamill: We sure as hell could use you around here, but I understand what you're doing.
Captain Miller: You do?
Captain Hamill: Yeah. I've got a couple of brothers myself.
Captain Miller: Oh.
Captain Hamill: Good luck.
Captain Miller: Thank you.
Captain Hamill: No, I mean it. Find him. Get him home.
Sergeant Horvath: This time the mission is the man.
Captain Miller: We are not here to do a decent thing, we are here to follow fuckin' orders!
Mellish: [shouting] Upham! Upham! Ammo goddamn it!
Lt. Col. Anderson: What about *our* casualties?
Captain Miller: Well, the figures were, 35 dead, times two wounded. They just didn't wanna give up those 88s.
Lt. Col. Anderson: It was a tough assignment, that's why you got it.
Captain Miller: Yes, it was.
Lt. Col. Anderson: John, I've got another one for ya...
Captain Miller: Yes, Sir.
Lt. Col. Anderson: This one's straight from the top...
Steamboat Willie: Upham!
Private Reiben: [Sergeant wields a pistol at Reiben for disobeying the Captain] Put your money where your mouth is.
Ryan's son: [running to comfort his father] Dad?
[flashback to D-Day]
LCVP pilot: [shouting out the soldiers on the raft] CLEAR THE RAMP! THIRTY SECONDS! GOD BE WITH YA!
Paratrooper Mandelsohn: We missed our drop zone by about 20 miles, ended up way over by Bumville or some damn place.
Captain Miller: This is all? That's all that've made it?
Sergeant Horvath: We're scattered pretty bad, sir. There's bound to be more of us.
Captain Miller: Not enough, this is not enough.
Sergeant Horvath: Dog One-It's got to be the cut on the right, or is it the one on the left, shit!
Captain Miller: No, no. Vierville is to the west of us, so this is Dog One.
Steamboat Willie: American, I like American.
Captain Miller: COVERING FIRE!